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Amid row with India, Chinese Army holds live-fire drill in Tibet

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Beijing, July 17: Amid the continuing border stand-off with India, China has conducted a live-fire drill in Tibet in what one observer said was a likely warning to New Delhi.

A fully-staffed and equipped brigade engaged in various drills involving the rapid movement of troops, use of digital devices and combined attacks by multiple forces, according to a China Central Television station (CCTV) report.

The report did not give precise details of where or when the exercise was held though it came as Chinese and Indian troops remain locked in their worst stand-off in decades on the tri-junction with Bhutan, the South China Morning Post reported.

In a two-minute clip of the exercises broadcast by the TV station, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers were seen launching an assault on an “enemy position” using machine guns, rocket launchers and mortars.

They also used air-defence radar to guide anti-aircraft guns in shooting down “enemy planes”, said the daily. Another drill involved the use of anti-tank grenades and missiles.

The brigade that conducted the drills was from the PLA’s Tibet Military Command and is one of China’s two plateau mountain brigades, the Global Times said.

According to the CCTV report, the brigade has long been stationed around the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river and is responsible for frontline combat missions.

The river is located in the upper stream of the Brahmaputra, which flows through China, India and Bangladesh. India shares a long border with China’s Tibetan region.

The drills lasted for 11 hours. “The 11-hour exercise covering a dozen elements was testimony to the PLA’s combined strike capability,” the report said.

India and China have been locked for over a month in a border stand-off between their soldiers in a tri-junction also involving Bhutan.

The South China Morning Post quoted an observer as saying that the show of strength was likely intended as a warning to India.

“The PLA wanted to demonstrate it could easily overpower its Indian counterparts,” it quoted Beijing-based military commentator Zhou Chenming as saying.

While Indian troops in the disputed area outnumber their Chinese counterparts, China has a clear advantage in terms of speed of movement, firepower and logistics, Zhou said.

“(By staging) a small-scale drill, China wants to control the problem and lower the risk of shots being fired,” he said.

Separately, Tibet’s mobile communication agency conducted a drill on July 10 in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, where members practiced setting up a temporary mobile network to secure communications in an emergency, the Global Times reported.

IANS

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Earthquake of magnitude 4.1 hit Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur

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Earthquake

New Delhi, May 21: An earthquake of magnitude 4.1 hit Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district at 4.21 p.m on Monday, reported news agency ANI.

No casualties have been reported so far.

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India

Sochi Informal summit: India, Russia have been friends for a long time, says Modi

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Sochi, May 21: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of an informal summit between the two countries. 

“Russia played a major role in helping India get a permanent membership in SCO. We are working together on International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and BRICS”, said Modi.

The Indian Prime thanked Russian President for inviting him for an informal meeting at Sochi. He stated “India and Russia have been friends for a long time”.

Modi arrived in Russia’s Sochi for an informal summit.

The summit is being held on the lines of the Wuhan informal summit between PM Modi and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping. The meeting between the two leaders is the first since the re-election of Putin as the President of Russia.

Duo are scheduled to meet in the coastal city at around 01.00 pm and hold restricted one-on-one talks.

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Jaya Jaitly upset with Priyanka’s ‘British aristocrat’ dress at Royal Wedding

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Priyanka Chopra Jaya Jaitly

New Delhi, May 21: Former Samata Party president and textile revivalist Jaya Jaitly was disappointed to see that Indian actor Priyanka Chopra opted to dress up like a “British aristocrat” at the royal wedding of Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex ”Prince Harry and Meghan Markle”

She says Priyanka could have opted for a “beautiful” sari as independent India has so much to show to the world.

“How sad an Indian actor attending the royal wedding in UK should dress like a British aristocrat at Ascot rather than represent a free and independent India in a beautiful sari,” Jaitly tweeted on May 19, the day when actress Meghan Markle wed British Royal Prince Harry.

However, her complaint goes beyond Priyanka’s dress.

Jaitly told news agency IANS: “All these actors, they dress up in all these fancy gowns by fancy designers who pay them for wearing their outfits and so they get fat money. Now, I keep feeling as I am loyal to our weavers and our textiles in India and we are working all our lives to revive it… We never attach a human being (the weaver’s name) with the brand name unless it has a designer’s name.

“We will say Kanjeevaram or Sambalpuri or something else and that’s the unfair practice all over the world and particularly in India.”

As Founder and President of Dastkari Haat Samiti, an art and craft market to enable rural artisans of traditional Indian crafts to gain confidence in the marketplace through many innovative strategies, Jaitly has been at the forefront of promoting Indian handicrafts and textiles.

She questions why Indian actresses wear western gowns to red carpet events abroad.

“Even in Hollywood (red carpets), where if I see Deepika Padukone wearing long gowns… they never really can compete. It’s like Indian fashion designers trying to do western dresses… Why don’t they wear most beautiful gorgeous sari, and everyone will go ‘wow’.”

An Indian activist, Suhani Jalota, who runs Myna Mahila Foundation, attended the royal wedding in an elegant sari designed by Indian brand Raw Mango run by designer Sanjay Garg.

Suhani Jalota

Counter-questioned about the existence of a dress code to attend the royal wedding, Jaitly said: “In the royal wedding, it was all about inclusiveness and welcoming others’ society, people, race and colour. The royal family and all these people went all out to emphasise the American-African identity of the bride and everyone was raving about the bride’s mother too because they were different.

“I felt sad when I think that why do we copy them and never quite get it right. We have so much to show and show off.”

On the dichotomy of a dress code, Jaitly pointed out: “When somebody in a village in India says ‘Sar dhako (cover your head)’, we don’t want that… When somebody says, ‘Don’t wear jeans in college’, we say ‘Who are you to tell us a dress code?’. But if Queen in England descends an invitation and say you got to wear a hat, which is not part of your culture, you will start saying there was a dress code.

“I don’t understand these various double standards.”

She said people may not agree with her, but in her words, “Just like Priyanka has the right to wear whatever she wants, I have the right to express my opinion.”

IANS

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